GT reader dinner: Saint Crispin, Melbourne

Author: Maggie Scardifield
Photography: Little Red Photography

Melbourne's Saint Crispin celebrates its second birthday with a truffle-powered dinner, and you're invited.

Winter is here, but more importantly so is truffle season. This month we're celebrating the magical, earthy flavours of our favourite fungus with a luxurious five-course truffle menu devised by chef Joe Grbac of Melbourne's Saint Crispin. "An amazing ingredient makes you close your eyes and go, 'Oh my god, how good does that taste?'," says Grbac. "Fresh truffles will do that every time."

While working at London's Michelin-starred The Square, it fell to him to select the best black gold for the restaurant, so he knows his stuff. "Truffles are individual - every year the texture and aromas change," he says.

At this month's Fine Dining Lovers reader dinner, Western Australian truffles are on show. A wintry surf and turf combination opens proceedings: king prawn, roasted with glass-like sheets of pancetta and dressed with truffle mayonnaise. Chicken with cauliflower couscous and fresh truffle is up next, ahead of wagyu rump and shin with parmesan gnocchi and fresh truffle. "The shin is brined in stout and coffee for 36 hours," says Grbac, "before being cooked for another 30 to 36."

This evening also mark's Saint Crispin's second birthday. "It's a special time of year for ingredients, and for us as a restaurant," says Grbac. The birthday cake is a deconstructed pumpkin pie with fresh truffles whipped through vanilla bean ice-cream, naturally.

Join us for dinner at 7pm on Monday 22 June at Saint Crispin, 300 Smith St, Collingwood, Vic. The cost of $150 per person includes five courses, wines by the glass, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna waters and a $10 donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. To book, call (03) 9419 2202. For more on the OCRF, call 1300 OVARIAN or visit

* Bergamo Calling cocktail

* South Australian king prawn, truffle mayo, rye bread, pancetta
2013 Gewürztraminer, Kuitpo, K1 Vineyard, SA
* Salt-baked celeriac, slow-cooked pullet egg, buckwheat, kale, fresh truffle
2014 Grüner Veltliner, Kuitpo, K1 Vineyard, SA

* Bannockburn chicken, cauliflower couscous, fermented garlic, Madeira, black barley, truffle jus gras
2013 Pinot Noir, Budenberg Vineyard, Piccadilly Valley, SA
* Wagyu rump and shin, parmesan gnocchi, wild mushroom, miso eggplant, pomme purée, truffle
2013 Shiraz, Little Hill Vineyard, Seppeltsfield, SA

* "Pumpkin pie"
Butternut pumpkin custard, nut-butter crumble, vanilla truffle ice-cream
Kiss Above the Clouds cocktail


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